Letter: Asheville’s sad descent

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I felt a great deal of sadness reading about the increase in vagrancy, crime and homelessness in Asheville.

I have lived in this area for 24 years and have loved Asheville, but it has changed. It’s no longer the delightful and quirky place it used to be, with its street musicians, wonderful music and little shops. It’s full of traffic, chain stores and tourists.

It has become a place where local people cannot afford to live and many of us no longer want to visit. These changes are what happens when a city (or a state or a country) puts the accumulation of wealth by the few above the well-being and quality of life of its own people. It’s not just Asheville, of course. It’s happening all over this country.

When people lack the basics of a comfortable life and have to struggle just to survive, when the difficulties they face are too much to deal with, they will do whatever they can to get what they need and to find some relief and comfort.

As long as the “powers that be” do not put attention and resources toward the welfare of ordinary citizens, these problems will unfortunately continue.

I realize, of course, that there are many people in Asheville who work very hard to assist those who need help, and I commend their efforts. But theirs is an uphill battle, with insufficient support.

— Susan A. Stone
Black Mountain

Editor’s note: This was one of a number of letters about downtown Asheville that came in after a recent Xpress newsletter highlighted three articles covering concerns about public safety and cleanliness downtown. Those stories can be found at avl.mx/chuavl.mx/chw and avl.mx/cht. To sign up for Xpress’ free newsletter, go to avl.mx/8st.


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4 thoughts on “Letter: Asheville’s sad descent

  1. indy499

    The ole if we just raised taxes even higher and spent more money we could fix this argument.

  2. p. Fifer

    The article subliminally begs the question all the funding, grants, and taxes over the past 30 years and for what? The homeless, mentally challenged, and drug addicted have increased like a moth to a flame. We must realize at some point this is personal decisions and we should stop rewarding bad behavior. Yes I have great compassion for those who have made these choices. But most of this behavior is self inflicted. All we are doing is subsidizing continued bad behavior.

  3. Irwin M. Fletcher

    Blah, blah, blah … same ol’ complaint recycled year-after-year in city-after-city. No one cares how long you’ve lived in the area. That doesn’t entitle your opinion to any extra consideration. Things always change, so nothing will ever be “the way it used to be.” You probably bemoan your lost youth, too, right? You could go to a movie for a quarter and buy a Coke for a nickel. So, what? Grow up. Guess what? This is coming soon to a neighborhood near you, too. In fact, it’s already begun in Black Mountain.

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